The Express drops all pretence of not being racist

This is, I think, the single most overtly racist article I have ever seen in a national newspaper. I mentioned it in my last, very brief, post but I want to look a bit closer at it. It's 'Ethnic baby boom 'crisis'' from Der Sturmer.

Usually, at least in recent years, the right wing tabloids have coded their racism by hiding it behind the actions of a specific group. The argument went that their coded racism against travellers couldn't be racism because it was about what the people did rather than what they are. Same excuse for anti-asylum seeker stories (with the added level of pretending they were only concerned with non-genuine asylum applicants). Anti-Muslim stories are apparently not racist because Islam is a religion and not a race. The anti-Polish stuff is only aimed at their being immigrants who don't do X, Y or Z - and anyway 'Polish' is a nationality and not a race, so it's not racism. At least, that's how their arguments tend to go.

Here we have an article depicting a crisis based purely on people's ethnic origin. Nothing's hiding it. It's not even pretending to be about foreigners and immigrants. It's saying Ethnic minorities = riots.

The only way I can possibly see that the paper could conceivably be doing anything other than using the standard BNP line on ethnic minorities is that it purports to be about a report that will be presented to Sheffield Council next week that says this stuff. But it desn't give us any idea who produces the report, or any direct quotes from it, making it all but impossible to check. We know from experience how the Express treats reports though. It lies about them. I can't help but suspect that this is why this article has appeared weeks before anyone will actually be able to see for themselves.

I'm finding it difficult to find words to respond to sentences like this one:
Council chiefs fear that unless drastic action is taken, ethnic communities could become increasingly isolated, with Far-Right parties like the BNP becoming increasingly attractive to the city’s disaffected whites.
Which Council chiefs? What have they actually said? Did they use the words 'drastic action'? If they did, did they use it specifically in the context of taking drastic action about the birth of ethnic minorities? I sorely doubt it. It's about as likely as the MCB saying that boys should be covered from navel to neck while swimming.

Here's a new one:
The latest figures show that 13 per cent of Sheffield’s population of 527,000 is now made up of minorities from all races and backgrounds – including a recent influx of thousands of migrants from new EU countries such as Poland and Romania.

While the city’s white population has declined, the number of migrants has more than doubled in the past 15 years and shows no signs of abating, according to the latest predictions.
So now Poles and Romanians aren't white. Remember that if Peter Hill or anyone else claims that Der Sturmer's coverage of Eastern European migration can't be racist because Poles and Romanians are white. This article says they're not.

It gets worse:
From 2001 to 2005, Sheffield’s population was boosted by 4,750 people from a variety of ethnic minorities – from Irish to African and from Chinese to Bangladeshi.
Irish people aren't white now. Irish people. I have heard on a number of occasions that anti-Irish feeling of the 'No blacks, no dogs, no Irish' type isn't actually racist because Irish isn't a race. This paper is clearly more racist than that.

From a fisking point of view, the article does that for itself quite nicely by saying:
Mixed race youngsters are the city’s fastest-growing minority group.
Which kind of shoots its own argument that a high number of ethnic minority births will lead to rioting and unrest.

If anyone wants to try to argue that this article isn't racist, I'd like to see how. Seriously. This is why I think it is, in short:

It blames rioting purely on the number of ethnic minority births.

I don't think I need to say much else.

There must be something that can be done, other than complaining to the useless PCC that can be done about this. It's distressing to see that politics has moved so far to the right that the tabloids can now openly and explicitly attack ethnic minorities without bothering to code their language anymore. And there will no doubt be quite a few goons who try to argue that this article isn't. Just look at the comments on the article.

Thoroughly. Fucking. Scary.


Ally said...

Top notch fisking. Top notch blog. Many thanks.

Will said...

the worst comment has now been removed, "sterilisation of immigrants after their second child" is too racist for the express.
the newspapers will make more bnp voters than their falsified leaflets ever will:

Ian Fryer said...

I work for a library in an ethnically mixed inner city area and an embarrassed by our stocking of the Express. There is a headline overtly racist in intention every single week. I'm looking into ways of gathering evidence for a city wide ban in public libraries keeping this rag, but it remains the most read paper in the library.